When the Italian people got together to choose which of the many varieties of the language to adopt as the common and literary language, it boiled down to two: Tuscan and Venetian.
The arrival of carnival in Venice is announced by the appearance of fritoe in the shops. These are sweet fritters, covered with sugar, a bit like a donut, which are traditionally eaten throughout the carnival season.
Yesterday, I heard what could be considered a textbook lesson in counting as a conversation between two gondoliers contained all the numbers up to ten as they discussed their work schedule for the coming ten days.
Due to the presence of the lagoon, Venice is a city of extraordinary light and shadow. However, the word ombra, Italian for shadow, has a very different and specific meaning in Venetian. And one which is just as enjoyable. Now, what could that be?
Ciò is one of the most famous words in Venetian. In standard Italian the word ciò is a kind of relative pronoun, meaning. But in Venetian, the meaning is very different. You hear it everywhere, and it's often overused by zealous movie scriptwriters wanting to make their characters sound Venetian (such as in the wonderful film Pane e Tulipani where most of the Venetian heard is spoken by an actress from Turin).
Venetians are famous in the rest of Italy for their maxims which often give a flavour of what it's like to live in the city. Discover what this maxim tells you about living in the city and particularly about the bridges and stairs which are a feature of every Venetian's day.
Today's word of the day is literally a word of the day, since it means Thursday. Zioba, like all the days of the week in Venetian, is quite different from the standard Italian, in this case, giovedì. I distinctly remember my father teaching me the days of the week in Venetian as a child, and I remember … Continue reading Venetian word of the day: zioba